Calendar of Events

Nov 24, 2014 | Washington, DC
Dec 08, 2014 to Dec 09, 2014 | Washington, DC
Jan 14, 2015 to Jan 16, 2015 | San Diego, CA

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Public Utilities Reports

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DOE

The Wind Watcher

Lori A. Burkhart

The search for the ultimate wind forecasting model got a boost at the end of 2008 when DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory began collaborating with a Portuguese research institute, INESC Porto, to develop a new platform for making such predictions.

Inclining for the Climate

GHG reduction via residential electricity ratemaking.

Ren Orans, et al.

Energy efficiency holds the key to meeting lofty greenhouse-gas (GHG) reduction goals. Rate design can help—specifically residential inclining block rates should be considered as part of the industry’s efforts to comply with forthcoming GHG targets.

Seeing Green

Renewables attract utility investment dollars.

Michael T. Burr

New federal policies have opened the gates to utility investments in renewable generating plants. Some states, however, still make it difficult for utilities to put such assets into the rate base. Executives at Duke, OG&E, PG&E and Xcel Energy discuss challenges and opportunities affecting their renewable investment strategies.

The Efficiency Mandate: Net-Zero Neighborhoods

Utilities explore the potential of zero-energy homes.

Steven Andersen

Utilities are leaving no stone unturned in their search for ways to save electricity. Federal incentives will support new technologies and projects, but can those incentives overcome structural barriers that stand in the way of major efficiency improvements? editors explore challenges and opportunities arising from the new efficiency mandate.

Five Nuclear Challenges

Building reactors requires new federal commitment.

Glenn S.K. Williams et al.

Several key barriers prevent the construction of a new U.S. nuclear power fleet. These barriers must be overcome to prevent a power-shortfall emergency.

Rethinking 'Dumb' Rates

Achieving the smart grid’s potential requires a revolution in electricity pricing.

Rick Morgan

Achieving the smart grid’s potential requires a revolution in electricity pricing. Smart metering and smart rates might yield surprising and beneficial changes in the U.S. utility industry. But capturing those benefits will require an intelligent and careful approach to implementing dynamic pricing.

Money to Burn

Smart-grid stimulus targets the wrong problem.

Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

The $800 billion stimulus bill has spawned a feeding frenzy among would-be recipients of the money. Smart-grid technology companies, for example, are excited about the bill’s $4.5 billion in 50/50 matching grants to “modernize the electric grid.” However, not everybody is cheering.

California Dreamin'

Left-coast lawmakers envision a greener America.

Michael T. Burr

As the new U.S. government takes shape, at least one trend seems clear: California is taking over the country. Well, maybe not “taking over,” exactly. But leading.

Building the Next Generation Utility

Fundamental changes require bold strategies.

Jack Azagury, et al.

While many utilities have embarked upon efforts to define a path toward the next generation utility, these efforts often are siloed initiatives driven by the generation, transmission and distribution (T&D) or customer segments of the organization. Addressing the upcoming challenge will require a coordinated and integrated set of decisions so as not to sub-optimize the end-to-end value chain. Eight critical themes across the generation, T&D and customer elements of the value chain will shape the future of our industry.

Green Price Stability

New approaches account for the economic benefits of renewables.

Lori A. Bird et al.

Many green power customers benefit from long-term fixed prices. The most effective programs recognize the value of this price hedge—and fairly exempt customers from fuel cost adders in utility rates.

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